二○一八年七月十四日／七月十五日 Click here for English version
"First Love" in Response to "Love to the End"
Rev Philip Teng
"Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (John 13:1b). The original phrase for "to the end" can be translated in two ways: first, "until the last moment" (in terms of timing); and secondly, "to the fullest degree" (in terms of intensity of love). The Lord loves us to the end and unto the utmost. What precious love!
How shall we respond to Christ's love that is "wide and long and high and deep"? Only "the love you had at first" (Revelation 2:4) is worthy of His love "to the end."
In the original language of the Book of Revelation, "the love you had at first" can be directly translated as "first love." "First" has two meanings: at first (in terms of timing) and "utmost" (in terms of intensity).
"The love you had at first" in Revelation 2:4 really combines the two meanings. In the early days of conversion, the Christians at Ephesus were characterized by ardent, affectionate and unbending love. But as time went by, their love lost warmth and vigor, and gave way to deterioration. What a pity!
Since the Lord Jesus loves us "to the end," we should maintain our "utmost" love for Him. This means we put Him first in our lives, and love Him more than anything else. Such utmost love is also the deepest love. The Lord Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" to which Peter replied, "Yes, Lord." Today, can we respond to the Lord in the same way?